Ice trial success for oblique icebreaker

Baltika's unique asymmetric hull allows it to break ice sideways to create wider channels Baltika's unique asymmetric hull allows it to break ice sideways to create wider channels

Icebreaking rescue vessel 'Baltika', developed by Aker Arctic, has completed ice trials testing its unique asymmetric hull, which allows the ship to break ice sideways to create wide channels.

Built by Arctech Helsinki Shipyard in cooperation with Shipyard Yantar in Kaliningrad, the Aker ARC 100 design vessel was tested on two ice thicknesses in ahead, astern and oblique modes during a three-week trial round trip from Murmansk.

Aker Arctic reported that the vessel exceeded expectations and passed required performance targets with a clear margin. The vessel could break 1.2m thick ice in continuous motion when proceeding bow first and could achieve a speed exceeding three knots in astern direction. Performance in oblique mode also fulfilled design requirements.

Project Manager Mika Hovilainen said: “Baltika could carry out the same operations as conventional icebreakers with just half of the propulsion power as well as perform manoeuvres which are not possible for any other vessel currently in service.”

Aker Arctic added that Baltika demonstrated excellent maneuverability and rubble clearing capability in the port of Sabetta during the trial. It was also able to penetrate heavy compressive ice ridges in the Kara Sea without ramming.

Baltika is 76.4m long with a beam of 20.5m and is powered by a diesel-electric plant consisting of three Wärtsilä 9L26 generating sets, with a combined output of 9MW. The vessel is propelled by three 2.5MW Steerprop azimuth thrusters - two in the stern and one in the bow.

The dynamic positioning system, which also includes the oblique icebreaking mode, was developed by Navis Engineering. The vessel is classified by the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping and its ice class is Icebreaker6. Baltika is also fitted with a built-in oil recovery system.

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